Army Life – The Gospel According To St. Dan – August, 1945

The Gospel, according to St. Dan, Drancy, Aug. 5, 1945

To follow the somewhat erratic history of Dan, it is perhaps more feasible to follow through chronologically, beginning on or about the 9th of July, at which time he was planning to leave Drancy for Calais on the 12th.

July 10 – At breakfast, Lt. Shirk casually asked if I were ready to “parti” to Calais. “When?” “Today!” “But I thought it was to be the 12th.”  “We’ll leave today. Are your clothes packed?” Thus began a week of hectic preparations and worries. I had to send a telegram that A.M. to Calais, notifying them of the change of plans; then I had to get my laundry from the laundry; then I had to get my official papers from the C.O.’s office; that I had to get my cigarette and candy rations from the PX, then I had to pack; then I had to eat early lunch —-. We arrived at Calais about five PM — half an hour after the telegram. The Lieutenant and his chauffeur left for Ghent almost immediately, leaving orders that I was to wait there until a truck came to take me back to Paris. By a curious coincidence, Robert and Maurice (Chiche’s brothers) arrived that same evening from Algeria, relegating yours truly to a position of an all-but-forgotten kibitzer, while emotion rained after four years of frustration.

July 11 to 16. Feverish preparations, trying to get the necessary papers in order and church arrangements settled. I had to hitchhike to Lille and back to have a seal affixed to certificates. The same day Chiche went to Boulogne for other papers, only to learn that she needed my papers too. The church arrangements broke down very soon because the Catholic Church frowned on a “mixed” marriage. The day before the marriage we were still in doubt. Chiche and I went to Bologne that morning and got the final papers. In the meantime it developed that no marriage can take place in France until ten days after all the papers are in order and the banns have been published! No banns were in evidence at the City Hall. But the fault was not ours so everything smooth out at the last minute – – even the church arrangements, because we decided to be married at the Protestant Temple after the civil ceremony at the City Hall. Late that night a dusty traveler Lad) arrived from Marseille – unexpectedly — he having already written that it was impossible to come. It was a thoroughly pleasant surprise, after two and half years of separation.

July 17. Ah, fateful day! 2 knots were tied – – both by men who took a personal interest in our marriage. All of Calais seems to have turned out for the occasion, for it was the first Franco-American wedding in that area. The first ceremony took place in the marriage hall at mairie. Mr. Hubert Desfachelles performed the ceremony as mayor, altho’ he was deputized for the affair as his own request. I think he was as nervous as we. It was “the first time” for all three of us! We drove to the Temple immediately afterward, where the Rev. Dubois officiated at a double ring ceremony. He said later that he had never seen the church so crowded for a marriage ceremony. There were many more who waited outside the door for a glimpse of “les espoux” as we came out. No rice was thrown, partly because there was no rice to be had, and partly because it is not the custom here to waste good food in such prodigal fashion. After the church ceremony the public was invited to the “vin donneur” which is the French equivalent of a reception, during which time wine and cookies are served to all who can get in. Fortunately, the Senechal home is across the street from the Temple (hence the name “rue du Temple” for the street on which they live)

Page 2 of the Gospel

so we were quickly embarked on this ceremony. Later, when the public had left we were served a sumptuous feast which represented hours of preparation and diligent searching in the black market for such luxuries as chicken and wine and a multitude of other dainties that no longer exist on the open market. That night there was dancing. “Chiche” and I heard that there was horseplay afoot, and we escaped upstairs shortly after midnight to our room. We locked both doors and kept vigil during an hour or so, during which time “they” tried to find a way to enter.

July 18 two August 1. An idyllic existence, during which time there was no worry or care save the possibility that the truck might come to take me back to Paris. For two full weeks I lived like a civilian on vacation, altho officially, I was in Calais on “Temporary Duty”. Furloughs are not authorized by the American Army to visit Calais, as it is part of the British sector – – but in order to permit the marriage, the 1st Sgt. arranged to send me on T.D. I suspect I am the only American on record whose solel “duty” during three weeks was to get married and enjoy a honeymoon! The truck came one afternoon about 3 P.M. while I was playing ping-pong with “Bob”, my new brother-in-law. Departure was mercifully swift. We had to leave immediately for Ghent where we spent two days.

Now, back in Drancy, I await the day (perhaps tomorrow) when Chiche will come to spend several days with me. The Army has not announced anything new about future plans. We are waiting to be “alerted” from day to day, but no new indications are manifest that such a move is near.

Lad arrived back in Marseille just in time to miss the boat! He is with the rear detachment and has left already for the Pacific, I presume. He doesn’t know just what route he will take, but usually the troops pass through CZ (Panama) and stop off a while in Hawaii. Love. DAN

Tomorrow I’ll post Lad’s account of the festivities.  Thursday and Friday, a letter from Grandpa posting updates on family members for family members, a quite comprehensive missive.

Judy Guion

Army Life (4) – Letters From Dan and Dick – July, 1945

In Grandpa’s all-inclusive letter, we now come to one from Dan and another from Dick. Dick’s letter is rather short, but since he is rarely heard from, all the more noticeable. 

Dan in uniform @ 1945

Daniel Beck Guion

Letter from Dan dated Drancy, July 9th

I received the money order the day before yesterday. It came too late for direct action but I was able to borrow enough to buy a camera (German) at a bargain and sell it at an amazing profit. My conscience almost bothers me! I have sent home two money orders during the last two months and another is enclosed herein. I cannot send it all at once because of suspicious Army regulations that cry “black market” at the drop of a peddler’s cart. The Sears Roebuck catalog arrived and already has been eagerly perused by all my roommates and it has wrought  on me the mischief of avarice – – or to say it more in my favor – – acquisitiveness – – a condition that has been chronic with me ever since my delicate little hands first violated the pages of Sear’s 1922 catalog. I expect that the reactions in Calais will be even more violent, since these European natives have, during the past five or six years, lost any natural immunity they might have had to sales aggression. My moments of protoplasmic functioning, and even my less lucid (the word is “lucid”, not “lurid”, see?) moments are monopolized these days by the approaching wedding, at which I am billed for one of the two major roles. I shall leave Drancy on July 12th, planning (with the connivance of the Army) to spend a week in Calais. The wedding will be on the 17th. We are still in

page 5 ( continuation of Dan’s letter)

Category II and planning to return to U S A before setting out for China.  Personally, I should rather stay here for a while. “Chiche” won’t be able to travel to the U.S. for a matter of months at least, unless commercial travel is resumed, so I would do better to occupy Germany until Hirohito loses his shirt. As soon as I am safely married, I shall suggest a transfer to an occupational unit. Incidentally, being in Category II automatically bars me from attending the special university courses. I am not even eligible to apply. What a “sale guerre”! But with that almost pristine optimism that has always been my particular charm  (well, waddaya know!) I close this letter with the hope and faith that everything is going to be so oh-so-frightfully O.K.

rpg-dick-in-uniform-without-mustache-1945

Richard Peabody Guion

Letter from Dick dated July 24th

I just received your weekly news letter in which you devoted a page or so to each of us individually. Evidently, it has inspired me to unaccustomed effort. (Here he describes his office personnel as shown on a snapshot which accompanies the letter, and which would be meaningless to quote without the picture to go with it). He also encloses a print of himself, and writes: I am wearing a pair of pants that were issued to me in Miami more than two years ago. I am also wearing the same face that was issued to me in N.Y.  more than 24 years ago. That explains absolutely nothing and might even lead to your asking, or better still, passing a harsh remark at some later date, concerning the addition under my nose. That definitely was not issued but came to be very near and dear to me. That squint in my eyes is not a pose but a necessary or unavoidable reaction from the bright sun. I’m quite well, Dad. I don’t gain much weight but neither do I lose it. The job I have with its responsibilities has given me a sense of confidence in myself – – a feeling in me that was always a little slow in developing. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that you are doing a good job  – – that people are depending on you. Give my love to Aunt Betty and say “hello” to all the rest.

Tomorrow, a letter from the youngest son, Dave, in Okinawa,  full of news and personal opinion.

On Saturday and Sunday, I’ll begin the autobiography of Mary Ellum Wilson, born in England. She came to this country as a young girl but eventually achieved “the American Dream”. She was the mother of a good childhood friend so I knew her personally but never realized how difficult her life had been until I received this from her daughter. It is my honor to share her story with all of you. Enjoy.

Judy Guion

Army Life – A Letter From Dan – June, 1945

Trumbull, Conn., July 22, 1945.

Dear Boys:

A letter from Danny boy, dated June 26th, is the sole “Quote” I have for you this week, as follows:

These are significant days – – particularly in the personal (and somewhat checkered) career of our hero, the personable Daniel B. Guion. For it has come to pass (Bible talk, meaning “it has come to pass”) that our hero saw his lady love even at the expense of cheating his uncle! Dan (that was his moniker) was stationed in Maastricht in those days and there were passes available for all and sundry. But alas the passes were for a duration of only 48 hours – – and what was the worst, Calais was specifically mentioned as being beyond the borne of such a pass. Nothing daunted, young Guion took his courage in his hands and placed his conscience behind him, and with this entourage, set off one evening, ostensibly for Brussels. But, patient reader, the fair city of Brussels was but a subterfuge. ‘Tis true that Guion spent the night at a hostelry in that city, but it was merely the result of the young man’s realism (and the setting sun) that he halted at all that night. Bright and early the next morning Dan set off for distant Calais, traveling by that medium so familiar to Americans – – the thumb. It soon became apparent to the eager lad that not all streets (they call them “rues” in Belgium, but they act very much like those phenomena we have labeled “streets” in America) – – to continue, it became apparent that not all rues in Brussels led directly to Calais. As a matter of fact, after about an hour of experimentation, map reading, tram car riding and muttering through his teeth, Dan definitely established to his satisfaction (well, hardly satisfaction, but in the interests of literature, wot the hell?) that at least three Brussels rues did NOT lead in the direction of Calais. But the fates are not always adamant and eventually one of the natives of those parts pointed out the right rue which had been there all the time, unbeknownst to our hero. It developed that the day was Sunday and not every military truck in the ETO was planning to go to Calais – – in fact most trucks that took the trouble to bother at all were generally moving in the opposite direction. By dint of persistence, and courtesy of the British Army, Guion arrived at last at Calais. It was mid-afternoon. Perhaps his heart beat a little faster veinous eagerness as he turned in at the familiar double doors in front of the Senechal home. Perhaps he wondered if they would be home on such a brilliant Sunday afternoon. Knock, knock, knock. What was hidden behind that closed door! The door opened. It was Madam Senechal. A sudden look of joy turned to profound consternation – – “Oh, Dani, Paulette n’est pa la!  Ella est partie a Donai, etc. etc. All of which was translated by our hero into his flawless English by his agile brain, and I pass it on to you, word for word: “Oh, Dan! Paulette is not here! She has gone to Douai to visit Renee and Andree. And it is my fault. She has been listless since you went away, so the other day, when she received an invitation to visit her sister, I told her to go ahead – – that it would be a pleasant change for her. So it’s really my fault.” Our hero hastened to reassure her that it was perfectly all right – – he would go on to Douai that same day. Thus he would not only visit the whole family but also he would be nearer to Maastricht for his return trip on the morrow. And so it was. He arrived in Douai about 10 in the evening and was welcomed warmly, as you, dear reader, must already have suspected. Monday, Dan left Douai for Lille on the train in company with Chiche, and at Lille they parted – – she for Calais and he for Maastricht. They had decided to wait until August for the wedding at the request of Mme. S. because her two boys were due back from Algeria early in July and the added excitement and fuss of a wedding would be too much for her. But the workings of destiny recognize no plan and a few days later our hero learned that the Army was planning to move soon and haste was imperative if Dan was to be hitched properly, so, as things stand now, the situation is disintegrating every bit as fast as it is being resolved. Young Guion is back in Drancy, expecting to be sent either to the U.S.A. or China within a couple of months unless the critical score of 85 is lowered to 76, in which case he will probably remain several months in Europe doing Heaven only knows what while waiting to be discharged. He is automatically barred from participation in the educational opportunities because at present he is in Category II which means C (China)  B (Burma)  I (India). Will Guion be sent directly to China, or via the states? Will the critical points be lowered to 76? Will he get the girl? For further adventures of Dan keep your nose tuned to Box 7, Trumbull, Conn.

For your information, my map of France shows Maastricht on the Belgium-German border about 50 miles east of Brussels. Calais is 100 miles west of Brussels. Douai is 50 miles south east of Calais and 20 miles south of Lille (60 miles S.E. of Brussels). Drancy is 3 or 4 miles N.E. of Paris up in the direction of La Bourget airfield.

Daniel Beck Guion - (Dan)

Dan in uniform @ 1945

Just before receiving the above letter, the mail also delivered two very good pictures of Dan, one smiling and the other serious. I showed them to Butch yesterday and he said, “What is he mad about?”

Marian says a letter just received from Lad says he has received an invitation from Paulette to their wedding August 4th but that the Army will not let him go. As Lad’s letter was written later than Dan’s, that may be the last news until we hear further from Dan.

Marian has had two girl friends visiting her from the Bronx this weekend. I had a marriage to perform today in Bridgeport. You will recall I wrote not so long ago telling you about marrying a man who was dumb. Well today both the groom and the best man were totally blind. The girl was O.K. A “seeing-eye” dog was present at the ceremony. Red (Sirene) dropped in for a visit one day this week. He will be sent to Belvoir for about a month when his furlough is up early next month. A letter from your Aunt Helen (Peabody Human) says they are still in Minetta Street. “The other night we were over at Anne’s (Peabody Stanley) and saw a copy of Dave’s letter. I was completely fascinated during the entire reading of it. It is really a remarkable letter – – so perfectly natural, interesting and informative. It reads as though he were used to turning out articles by the dozen. Do you remember Jim Shields? He visited in Trumbull I remember. He stopped in one day last week to see if Ted (Human). He asked about the boys and sent his regards. Donald (Stanley) is back. Right now he is in Boston working on exams and then he and Gweneth are going to Vermont for a few days before going back to sea. He has been in the Pacific and was at or near Okinawa.”

And that’s about all on the list for this week except that Jean has run into a bit of passport red-tape trouble and may go to Miami by plane. More about that next week. Meantime, don’t forget your

DAD

Life in Alaska – Kenai Peninsula and Homer Through Dan’s Eyes – September, 1941

The following article, published in a local newspaper in 1941, tells of a trip  Dan took to explore Homer and other Alaskan towns in the Kenai Peninsula.

Dan, Ced and car

Daniel Guion Discovers An Alaskan Town Where No Fuel Bill Ever Worries Man

A utopia where land is free, coal is scattered by nature like rocks along the beaches, “fat rainbows” abound in the streams and brown bear and moose in the hills – such wonders in the heart of Alaska, Daniel B Guion, now in an engineering post with the United States government air base at Anchorage, has discovered after 14 months of residence in Uncle Sam’s most northern possession.

A year ago last July, Guion, but recently returned from a similar assignment in the tropics of Venezuela, decided on an excursion into the opposite regions of the Americans. Second of the five sons in the family of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred D Guion, well-known Trumbull residents, he found enthusiastic response in Cedric, the brother third in line, on his arrival in Anchorage.

Trio of brothers there

Only last spring, Richard, the fourth son, chose to follow in the same adventurist path, and at the present time, is also a federal employee at the Anchorage airport project.

DBG - Dan in Alaskan doorway-1940

Recently, Daniel left on an exploration trip to the Kenai Peninsula where he caught his first glimpse of Homer, one of the Alaskan spots still open to homesteading where, “virtually in our backyard since we came to Anchorage,” he writes, “is the paradise we’d heard about.”

In a graphic story of his travels,  he wrote of the Homer of Alaska to his parents: He says: “The reputation of Homer has always seemed much higher than could possibly be true, but upon seeing it, one is confronted with irrefutable evidence….

“Homer is one of the several places in Alaska still open to homesteading. It differs from the rest, however, in being situated in a country upon which nature has lavished every luxury conceivable.

“Land is free for those who wish to Homestead, and cheap for the man who wants to buy. By plane, Anchorage is only an hour and a half distant, and the CAA is building a landing field. Several miles of good gravel roads have been made by the Alaskan Road Commission, and it is possible that sometime in the future there will be a road connecting Homer to Anchorage and the rest of Alaska. When this happens, those who own property in and around Homer will be raised on a crest of prosperity beyond all bounds.

In summer in Homer, the moderating influence of the sea keeps the air pleasantly cool despite the long days of bright sunshine. In winter, the Japanese stream exerts the milding influences to such an extent that snow seldom stays long on the lowlands. Spring comes early, and autumn late. Rainfall is moderate throughout most of the year, and this ideal combination of elements promotes the growth of lush fields of hay and thick copses of berries without the aid of man. Celery, beets, peas, cabbage, carrots, potatoes and a variety of other fruits and vegetables thrive in the rich soil of the bottom lands. Fishing is good all year round. From the beach can be gathered clams and mussels.

DBG - Eklutna village home

As you may have heard, Cook Inlet has the second largest tide in the world (the Bay of Fundy being first). Coming or going, the waters flow as swiftly and turbulently as a mighty river. Sailing was delayed an hour and a half, the outgoing tide pushing the boat against the dock. After much maneuvering and clanging of bells, and pushing, and pulling of ropes, the ship, Monterey, was wheeled away from the docks. The first night was spent watching the northern lights and a few whales now and then but never very close.

Climbing up to land

Shortly after lunch we rounded the 7 mile long spot which projects out into the inlet to form a roadway out to a dock . . . the point of disembarkation for Homer. The dock is built of pilings a good 30 feet high to allow for the extremes of tide, so we had to climb a ladder to dock. A truck was waiting to take us to Homer.

After visiting Homer the ship Monterey sailed again, past the volcanic Augustin Island into the quiet waters of Kachemac Bay. With bright sun streaks across the gently ruffled surface of the Bay, the town of Seldovia, clinging to the precipitous edges of a rocky hill was seen. . . . .  A town of pilings and boardwalks below and cabins and cottages hugging the hills above.  . . . .  surmounted at the summit by a little, weather-beaten, square church with the bulging steeple of Byzantine architecture that was testimony to the Russian influence.

I would love to see the Alaska that Uncle Dan saw on this trip, if it still exists.

Tomorrow and Friday, another letter from Grandpa to the “Trio From Anchorage”.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Hart, Schaffner and Marx (2) – Questionnaires – September, 1941

Dan in white jacket in Alaska

D A N

(To  be filled in with adequate detail, and returned promptly to  ADG)

What has become of your Spanish class and typewriter instruction course? Are you now taking any other education courses? WHY?

Are you devoting any time to cultural activities, such as reading, study, church, music, etc. Give details.

What are your principal recreations? Give example of typical week.

What is state of your health? Are you troubled with irregular bowel movements, colds, headaches, anything else (No wisecracks — this is serious) are you taking care of your teeth and eyes?

A you putting aside a definite sum of money in bank or other savings depository? Do you budget your money? If not, will you?

Name three articles you would like as Christmas gifts. (Give details)

What would you suggest as a wedding gift for Rusty?

Do you want your auto driver’s license renewed in Connecticut?

What became of your Home Building and Loan book?

Other remarks:

Judy_0003

C E D

(Please fill out and return promptly)

Are you eating in restaurants or have you located another regular eating place?

How many solo hours have you now to your credit Western Mark (Saw Dive Bombers, a new movie, yesterday, and would just as leave have you on the ground)

Did you ever receive the shoe holder I ordered sent to you?

Would you boys like any of the following: a portable shower outfit, heating pad, small electric fan for steering wheel of car?

Name three gifts you would like for Christmas (no kidding)

What wedding gift would you suggest for Rusty?

How much money are you able to save over living expenses and what you sent me Western Mark how are you investing it?

What are your regular hours of work? Do you have much over time?

Give example of typical week as far as recreation is concerned.

Have you continued in any of your singing activities or church affiliations ?

Do keep fairly free from colds? Do you have sneezing spells up there like you did here? Are you troubled with headaches, indigestion? Have you had your teeth looked over recently ?

Did you pass your flying exam without any reservations ?

Remarks:

?????????????????????

D I C K

(Please fill in promptly and fully and return at once to A.D.G.)

Refer to my letter of July 13 asking for details about your job. Please give full details below.

What are you doing about selling my old movie camera?

What became of your Home Building and Loan deposit book?

Please tell me what packages of birthday gifts you received as several shipments were made at different times as I want to be sure you received them all.

Name three articles you would like as Christmas gifts.

What would you suggest as a wedding gift for Rusty?

Have you a budget and are you making regular planned savings as you intended to do?

In such leisure time as you have what are your recreations?

Are your teeth or eyes troubling you? You have trouble with your bowels? Headaches? Indigestion? Colds? Anything else?

Please give a description of what happened on your birthday.

Other remarks:

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting a newspaper article about Dan’s Labor Day trip to the Kenai Peninsula.The article includes excerpts from Dan’s letter to Grandpa about his impressions, in Dan’s unique style of writing. On Thursday and Friday, another letter from Grandpa to the Trio in Alaska.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Hart, Schaffner and Marx (1) – Grandpa’s Letter – September, 1941

 

Dan in white jacket in Alaska

Trumbull, Sept. 7, 1941

Dear Hart, Schaffer & Marx:

Today I have the ambition of a louse. If you have ever been a louse you will know exactly how I feel. Loosing one ambish with each sneeze for the last 10 days leaves the score minus something, so that it has been difficult indeed to lash up enough energy to get started on this miserable piece of English composition.

There was a rift in the clouds this week occasioned by receipt of a letter from Dan and a letterette from Dick, but such is the ingratitude and insatiable appetite of man, that already I am hoping for more this week in order to even up the score which is been so one-sided for so long a period.

As to Dan’s comments about cigar smoking, it seems to me it was just about a year ago next week that you wrote me about another cigar smoking episode involving a Rossi that you and one Swanson donated to your boss Bud Johnson. Is this cigar yearning a recurring annual event such as hay fever? Does it help you to write inspired letters? If so, I shall be tempted to send you a box. (I do not refer to the w.k. pine box). It may be your vacation trip to the peninsular villages would loosen a flood of descriptive waterfalls, some of which might get diverted to P.O. Box 7. The check you sent is being credited to your account. Thanks also for the pictures. These together with the others you have sent I have turned over to Barbara, as she has so many more that we and anyway, it is not possible to see them properly without the use of Helen’s projector. Which reminds me, if you want to know what I would like to have for Christmas, that’s it. I mean a projector with which to display some of the wonderfully colored little art gems you have sent home. They are really exceptionally beautiful. You will know if you have seen them projected on a screen, but cannot appreciate their beauty otherwise. The consensus of opinion seems to be that for scenic views and still life they are better than the colored movie films. Some of your shots were really of a place alongside the paintings of Corot or Turner. With two movie cameras up there and funds with which to purchase films I am surprised we have not received more Alaskan films recently.

Will somebody please tell me whether any of you were able to contact Dr. Laszlo. I know he was looking forward to seeing you. Possibly I was too enthusiastic in my build up with the corresponding letdown if none of you could spare the time to get away to meet him at the station or dock or what not.

Grandma and Dorothy left Wednesday and are now installed in a new apartment. The visit did Dorothy lots of good.

As questionnaires seem to be a popular national pastime these days, I am enclosing one for each of you boys, which will be one method of getting answers to some of the questions that arise in one’s mind from time to time.

Maybe I’ll feel more like writing next week. Right now I can’t think of any news anyway, other than the usual Aunt Betty sends love, Dave has started back to school and likes his teachers, Carl received a letter from Ced, Dad sneezes and wheezes, etc. So with a hail (Spelled Hell) to the lowly ragweed, this is station D A D signing off.

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting the questionnaires for each son.

On Wednesday, I’ll be posting a newspaper article about Dan’s trip to the Kenai Peninsula which includes excerpts from a letter he wrote to Grandpa telling of his experiences and impressions.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Individual Letters (2) – To Dan With Quotes From Dave – July, 1945

DBG - Paulette on Bike @ 1945 in France

Paulette Van Laere Senechal

Page 2    7/15/45

Dear Dan:

Well you fading bachelor, what’s the latest news about your double harness prospects? We are all on pins and needles over here waiting for something definite. Meantime, why don’t you feed our hungry souls with some back information about Paulette, whom we are all hungry to know better though it be by proxy. What do you suppose I took the time and effort to ask a lot of questions for in a letter now long forgotten, about Paulette and her likes and dislikes, if we didn’t want to know? One of the things we are all living for over here is the prospect of having you and Paulette with us. I even tried to get a book from the library so that I could learn to speak French and Marian gave me a French English dictionary, but I’m afraid I can’t report much progress. I also sent you a list of things I thought she might like to have, to which you paid no attention. I would like to send her something direct from time to time just to prolong as long as possible until she faces the reality, the idea that we are awfully nice people. So to one of your welcome but cryptic messages soon, add a real long letter about Paulette, etc. I found your tripod and head in your trunk and will send it along with the three-dimensional device which I ordered from Seniors. I also found in the trunk a yellow “Austin lens hood to fit series 6 filter holder”, as well as what appears to be a flash outfit with mirror. I did not include this, or rather will not, because I take it if you wanted them you would have asked for them. Hope you can get films for your camera as they are unobtainable here without a special order from the President.

In a letter received this week from Dave, he refers to your trip account. I suppose here is as good a place as any to quote it. Dave says: “Dan’s letter was quite interesting. I couldn’t help but notice how much his trip was like mine. The payoff was when I read that a Jerry had come over and bombed his area one night – – coming pretty close to his tent and putting  shrapnel holes in the tarps and tents. If you will recall, the same thing happened to me, and I was as scared as Dan (naturally). I’m glad to hear Dan has so many points. Rumor has it that the points may soon be dropped to 78 for discharge. That would bring him to within a few points below discharge status. At the same time I can’t help but wish he were here. I know he would get a big kick out of studying the customs of the people here. They’re so different from the people of the Western world. Europeans and Americans have a little more in common than do the Orientals. I never had any desire to see any part of the Orient but now I’m hoping to move on. We may never go any further than here, but if we do, I’ll be ready to move. Another reason I’d like to get out of here is that now that summer has set in, it’s unbearably hot and muggy. This place would be hot enough for Lad, I’m sure. I’m taking notes so that someday I can sit down and bang out a few shorts on Okinawa. I’m getting my material from what I’ve seen myself and from some articles that Bernie Arnold wrote and is writing. As a fellow in our tent who is very bitter against the Japs. He’s got a very simple mind and doesn’t see very far. His theory is to destroy the Japanese race. I’ve had long arguments with him, my theory being that as long as you try to keep peace with force, you’ll always have wars. I keep telling him that the solution is to teach the Japs our way of living – – to teach them Christianity. He can’t see it, or rather, won’t see it. It’s for this reason that I was quite interested in Dan’s disapproval of the non-fraternization policy in Europe. I didn’t know it existed but I agree wholeheartedly with Dan. A directive came out of 10th Army headquarters that we were not to give the native children any candy or cigarettes, but that wasn’t because we were not to associate with them; it was just that the Okinawans were getting spoiled, and like dogs, wouldn’t do anything without payment in candy and smokes. On the whole, we’re trying to build the good-will of the people here. It sounds like a much better idea to me.

page 3   7/15/45

So Ced finally broke down and wrote, huh? Well, that letter was worth waiting for. Boy, how I’d like to be up with him now. Okinawa is slowly losing some of It’s charm. It’s hot, I’ve seen most of the island and it’s no longer a wonderland to me it’s getting more and more like the Army in the states, which I don’t like as much as the field life. Too many rules and inspections for me. But as I’ve already stated I’m on top of the world and really don’t have cause for complaint. Maybe Ced can take a run down here to see me someday, if he can get past the airplane patrols without identification. There is certainly enough land to put a plane down on here now. I read today that Okinawa-based planes hit targets in Japan a couple of nights ago. Sounds good. We are only 350 miles from Kyushu Island. Did I tell you that Radio Okinawa’s motto is “a stone’s throw from Tokio”. Very appropriate. Well, it’s July 4th now – – being 20 minutes to one, so I guess I’d better get to bed. Good night and all stuff like that there. Dave”

Tomorrow, Grandpa’s letter to Ced and on Thursday, letters to Dick and Dave. On Friday, a very thoughtful letter to Paulette from Grandpa.

Judy Guion